In the second Twenty20 international at Old Trafford on Friday, hosts England crushed New Zealand by 95 runs, with England rookie Gus Atkinson taking four wickets.
The fast bowler concluded the game with three wickets in an over as New Zealand, having set a tough target of 199, fell to 103 all out. His stats of 4-20 were exceptional and the best by an England rookie at this level.
T20 global champions England were victorious in Chester-le-Street, taking the lead 2-0 in the four-match series after defeating their opponents by seven wickets on Wednesday.
Harry Brook and Jonny Bairstow set the stage for Friday’s resounding victory.
England were 198-4 after Bairstow batted through the innings for 86 not out and Brook produced a stunning 67.
The BBC was informed by an overjoyed Atkinson, “I didn’t know those were the best figures by an England bowler on T20 debut-that’s lovely to hear.”
“It’s working, I’m running a little harder and that’s giving me the confidence to put in a little bit more effort,” he said.
In praise of the pacer’s performance, England captain Jos Buttler said, “He did exactly what we wanted from him on debut — he bowled with great pace, great line.”
Buttler won the toss and Bairstow and Brook put up 131 for the third wicket in only 65 balls.
In 60 balls faced, Bairstow hit eight fours and four sixes.
In his 36-ball innings, Brook, who was controversially left out of the current English champions’ selection for the 50-over World Cup in India, smashed five sixes.
“Harry Brook is playing brilliantly well, the way he played tonight and the other night, all credit must go to him,” commenting on Bairstow’s “fantastic” innings. He’s not in the current World Cup team, which is the subject of a lot of discussion, but he plays the same in the locker room and just goes about his business.”
Tim Southee, the skipper of New Zealand, let up 23 runs in an over while the pacer returned statistics of 1-48.
According to Southee, “England played brilliantly; the way Brooky came out really took it to us.”
“Our batters are having a difficult time chasing down that wicket because we were probably a little off with the ball.”
Tim Seifert led the way with 39 in an innings when only two other batsmen, Glenn Phillips (22) and Mark Chapman (15), achieved double digits, meaning that New Zealand was never in the hunt.
With Devon Conway dismissing Atkinson to Liam Livingstone at deep square leg, the 25-year-old fast claimed his maiden wicket for his country as they crashed to an 8-2 defeat.
Before leg-spinner Adil Rashid (2-18) had him caught on the boundary by Brook, Phillips made a bit of a comeback.
After Seifert cut Atkinson high into the Manchester sky, wicketkeeper Buttler clutched a steepling catch, causing Seifert to fall.
In the 14th Atkinson over, Southee and Lockie Ferguson were both removed as England completed yet another impressive performance.
On Sunday, the series resumes in Edgbaston.